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ATMA - AIMS Test for Management
Admissions  Entry Point to 700 B-Schools in India

Rruchi Shrimalli

AIMS Test for Management  Admissions (ATMA) is an all-India entrance exam for admission to MBA, PGDM, PGDBA and other postgraduate-level management programs in 700 B-schools that are part of the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS). Some institutes also accept ATMA scores for admission to their MCA programs.
One of the six national-level management entrance tests in India, ATMA is recognised by:
*All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE),
*Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India (MHRD, GoI), and
*The Supreme Court of India.
ATMA is held four times for admissions in an academic year - in December, February, May, and July or August. For admissions to the postgraduate management programs in the 2017-2018 academic year, one could appear for ATMA conducted as an offline test (in the pen-paper mode) on February 12, 2017 or in the computer-based or online exam which was conducted on May 28, 2017. There are still two chances open for MBA aspirants though. The computer-based or online ATMA exams will be conducted on June 25 and July 23 this year.
Member Institutes
The Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) is one of the largest networks of management institutions in the world with over 730 members. Top Indian management institutes like IIMs, ISB, Xavier Institutes, NMIMS, Welingkar, MDI, and ICFAI are all part of this B-school network.
ATMA serves as a credible single-window test for admission to PG management programmes offered by its member institutes (except the A-grade institutes that conduct their own management entrance exams).
Some of the top management colleges that accept ATMA scores are:
*AIMS Institutes, Bangalore: It was ranked #18 for Hotel Management and #53 for MBA by The Week in 2016.
*Indus Business Academy, Bangalore: Affiliated to the Mysore University, it was ranked #69 for MBA by The Week 2016.
*SSN School of Management: Affiliated to Anna University, it is ranked #33 for MBA by MHRD in 2016.
*Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management, Hyderabad: NAAC accredited it with Grade ‘B’. The Week ranked it #87 for MBA in 2016.
One can find the complete list of institutes that accept ATMA scores at: pdf/ATMA_participating_institutes.pdf From this year, Maharashtra government has announced that ATMA scores will be valid for institute-level MBA seats in Maharashtra too along with all-India level seats.
Do note that all member institutes accept all ATMA scores. You will have to check which member institutes are participating in which season. For example, ATMA 2017 information brochure mentions names of 76 institutes that are participating in the May season exam. You can check the information brochure at pdf/bulletin-2017-18.pdf
Eligibility Criteria
*Educational Qualification: Anyone who has completed his graduation from any recognized institute or university may apply for the ATMA exam. Those who are appearing for the final-year exam of their Bachelor’s degree programme may also apply for ATMA.
There is no minimum percentage cut-off specified by ATMA but participating institutes may have their own eligibility criteria when they screen candidates.
Age Limit: Maximum age limit to appear for ATMA is 21 years.
Paper Pattern
ATMA 2017 exam pattern will have six sections:
*2 sections on Analytical Reasoning Skills
*2 sections on Verbal Skills
*2 sections on Quantitative Skills
Across all the sections, questions are of objective-type.
Each section carries 30 questions, which means that there are a total of 180 questions in the paper. Each question carries 1 mark. So, the total paper is for 180 marks. Total time allotted to the students to solve the ATMA question paper is 180 minutes. It means that students get about 1 minute to solve each question.
There will be negative marking in ATMA 2017 too. For each incorrect answer or for the question in which students mark multiple answers, students will have to pay the penalty of 1/4th mark. The negative marks will be deducted from your total score. So, it is best to avoid guess work in this exam.
Though, there are no official ATMA mock tests available online, ATMA exam pattern is expected to remain same as previous years. The difficulty level of the test generally ranges from easy to moderate level.
Important Topics of Each Section
Analytical Reasoning Skills
It assesses how well a candidate accesses and analyzes a situation. Right frame of mind and correct approach are required to solve such questions.
Important topics of this section are:
*Arrangement of letters
*Blood Relations
*Data Sufficiency
*Number Series
*Statement– Conclusion
*Verbal Logic
*Visual Reasoning
In the last two years, the difficulty level of Analytical Reasoning section was pegged as tough. It included Critical Reasoning questions too that were based on Course of Action, Strong & Weak Arguments, Cause & Effect etc. The Deduction questions were rated as the toughest ones in this section and were based on the Possibility model.
Quantitative Skills
This section needs a lot of regular practice. Probability, permutation and combination, coordinate geometry, average, mensuration, ratio and proportion variations, calculating interest, geometry, inequalities, progression, logarithm, set theory, quadratic equation, and functions can all be of immense help to you in doing calculations quickly.
Important topics of this section are:
*Bar Graph
*Basic Arithmetic
*Compound Interest
*Data Interpretation
*Number System
*Pie Chart
*Profit and Loss
*Simple Interest
*Time and Work
ATMA has two sections on Quantitative skills. Generally speaking, first section is easier than the second section. The exam analysis of previous years’ ATMA question papers shows that the overall difficulty level of Quantitative sections is moderate.
Most of the questions are quite straight forward. They are often based on simple concepts and their direct applications.
Verbal Skills
It assesses the basic English skills of the applicants. It may include sentence correction and completion type of questions too.
Important topics of this section are:
*Fill in the Blanks
*Reading Comprehension
The Verbal Ability and English Usage questions asked in ATMA are of moderate difficulty level. Usually, there are four passages in the Reading Comprehension part while the English Usage questions include Synonyms, Para Formation Questions (PFQs), Idioms etc. Part 1 is generally easier than Part 2. That said, Reading Comprehension questions are quite easy to solve while PFQ questions are considered the toughest. Vocabulary and idioms asked in the exam are usually simple in nature.
Preparation Tips for ATMA Management Entrance Exam
Remember that ATMA sees to measure aptitude of the applications for higher management and business studies. So, its preparation differs from university exam preparation. All your preparation should focus on excelling in aptitude tests and develop speed. In the online exam, the time limit is even stricter and hence, time management is critical.
If you have prepared for other MBA entrance exams like MAT or CMAT, ATMA preparation should not be tough for you. The difficulty level of ATMA is comparable to the above-mentioned exams, though it does not have a General Awareness section. All you will need is to solve previous years’ ATMA papers to understand its format.
All the management entrance exams are quite competitive. So, when you should start your MBA preparation, it is not wise to stake everything on one particular exam. Prepare for the high-level management entrance exams like CAT and it should be easier for you to crack easier ones like ATMA and MAT.
Here are some other tips that might prove handy for you:
*To prepare for the Quantitative Skills sections, prepare from the secondary and higher secondary level NCERT books of Mathematics. Solve their questions too. Then, try solving ATMA papers and CAT papers.
*For the Verbal Skills sections, you will need a good grip over vocabulary and grammar. Wren & Martin is a good starting point to brush up on your grammar once again. Besides grammar, Wren & Martin can also improve your comprehension and essay writing skills. It includes examples and exercises for each topic and you may use it to verify your answers too.
*It would be a good idea to increase your reading speed and read a variety of topics, so that you can understand the long passages within time.
*To improve your language skills, you should start by reading English newspapers, watching English news, and writing at least 1-2 paragraphs in English every day. Keep a dictionary handy and whenever you do not understand a word you read, look it up. Conversing with a friend in English is also an excellent way to groom yourself for the future.
*The Analytical and Critical Reasoning sections are easier for those who love to solve riddles and puzzles. In fact, once you learn to enjoy these questions, it seems fun to solve them. There is no precise formula to solve AR and CR questions but they become easier to solve as you practice them more and more.
*In the Analytical Reasoning section, you need to analyse a given problem by asking the 5 basic questions – Why, What, When, Where, and How. Lengthy puzzles on distribution that involve a lot of variables need a lot of practice. However, on the exam day, solve questions that you know first. Do not waste time on the question that is taking too much of your time because speed is of essence when you solve the ATMA paper.
*Data interpretation questions often use bar graphs, line graphs, caselets, tables, pie charts, or circle graphs etc. To solve such questions, break up the given information and note it down.
*To make sure that you gain both precision and speed, set a timer while you solve mock question papers. Race with the time and try to complete your paper before time. Do not forget to review your answers and find out how to solve the questions that you got wrong.
*Incorrect answers may fetch you negative marks. So, be careful with tricky questions and analyse all your options well.
*Master short cut methods and learn all the formulas well to be able to solve mathematical problems quickly. Make formula sheets for last day revision.
*You may also jotting down all the grammar rules at one place in the form of tables, charts and mindmaps.
*Eating a balanced diet, eating on time, and proper exercise and rest are as important as studies when it comes to be in top shape for your exam. We recommend you to solve the full-length question paper at the time when you have to appear for the exam so that your body and mind gets used to remain most alert at that time.
Books for Preparation
Right reading materials and books can give your ATMA preparation a good boost. For ATMA 2017, you might want to refer to the following books:
*‘Arithmetic For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations (Paperback)’ by Time
*‘CMAT Entrance Guide with Mock Test CD 2 Edition’ by Disha Experts
*‘How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Common Admission Test 5th Edition’ by Arun Sharma
*‘Master Key To MBA Entrance Exam 2009 01 Edition (Paperback)’ by S. L. Gulati, Ravi
*‘Mission MBA – MAT: Solved Papers 2013-2011 1st Edition (Paperback)’ by Tarun Goyal BS Sijwalii
*‘Quantitative Aptitude for MBA: Entrance Examination 1st Edition (Paperback)’ by Sulava
*‘SNAP / IIFT / XAT / TISS / CMAT / NMAT / IRMA / MAT Management Entrance Tests: MBA Solved Papers’ by Gautam Puri
*Trishna’s ‘Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations’ by Time
Start with the NCERT books or other basic books you have and then, go on to solve as many management entrance exam papers as you can. Besides ATMA question papers, CAT and MAT exam papers can help you too. Refer to the above-mentioned books only for reference or some extra practice.
The author is a career counsellor.e-mail :